Negotiations continue over the specifics of the next coronavirus relief legislation, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is already threatening to shoot down Republican proposals.
The Speaker told CBS over the weekend that she will reject the one thing she knows the GOP wants in the next stimulus bill namely, liability protections for businesses, as Breitbart reported.
Pelosi threatens coronavirus bill
After previous efforts at negotiating coronavirus legislation produced expensive, ambitious, and partisan “wish lists” from Pelosi, Republicans have come to the table with some understandable reluctance.
Despite complaining about inaction from across the aisle, it looks like Pelosi is ready to play the obstructionist again, if needed.
Republicans have made passing liability protections for businesses a sticking point, arguing that they are necessary to shield companies worried about getting smacked with coronavirus-related lawsuits, but Pelosi has pushed back, painting Republicans as keen on letting corporations off the hook for employees and others who fall ill.
In an interview with Margaret Brennan on Sunday, Pelosi indicated that she is ready to cross what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has called a “red line” — potentially placing the next round of legislation in jeopardy, before the conversation has even started.
“What they’re saying to essential workers [is[ ‘you have to go to work because you’re essential. We’ve placed no responsibility on your employer to make that workplace safe, and if you get sick, you have no recourse because we’ve given your employer protection. And if you don’t go to work because you’re afraid of being sick and you have that job opportunity, you don’t get unemployment insurance,'” she said.
Despite these lamentations, Pelosi has been in no hurry to end lockdowns that have crippled the economy, and she hasn’t been very expeditious in the past about passing relief legislation, either.
With thousands of companies already shuttered for good, small businesses are seeking reassurances that they won’t be sued into oblivion, notwithstanding Pelosi’s caricature of corporate greed.
Now, weeks after they rejected a $3 trillion bill dreamed up by Pelosi and her fellow Democrats, Senate Republicans are ready to negotiate, and they were expected to lay out their $1 trillion proposal on Monday.
The bill is rumored to include another round of stimulus checks, but disagreements linger over liability protections and the $600 enhancement to weekly unemployment benefits, poised to sunset this week. Republicans have argued that current benefit levels are too high and give people an incentive to stay unemployed.
“This is an emergency. Maybe they don’t understand. I don’t know what they have against working families in America,” Pelosi pondered.